Personas or Target Market Research

Many businesses toggle between both qualitative target market research strategies, but which does your company prefer? This post on Strategic Market Segmentation outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of using personas as opposed to target market research. The advantages listed are that personas allow the marketer to create a more visualized picture of the customer, since they use experiences and instinct instead of research to form the potential customer. Also, personas help provide marketers with an imaginary person that be used to represent the customer. Many marketers will argue that experiences are more valuable than research but the downside is that traditional research still remains more consistent, reliable, and verifiable. Personas can lead to failed marketing campaign since there is a chance of misinterpreting your imaginary person that is supposed to represent your customer. Which of these two methods, if not both, is your company using to help visualize your potential customers?